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The Oaks is now a freeway

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 10 May 2008

By the sound of it someone has seen fit to grade The Oaks fire trail. It used to be rough and rocky from the Woodford gate to the Helipad and descriptions on Farkin would imply all the rocks are gone and it's now a freeway. Their post and a few pics are here (you need a Farkin account to see this):

pics as promissed. They were taken in the first stretch after the gate. before the sign. It only gets worse.

I was taking these pics as a large group arrived at the gate (from the train). The mountain bikers looked stunned. The novices that they had brought with them seemed less horrified. (almost happy)

On a positive note... the fog and mist makes it beautiful up here this morning.

Fastest time this year will be on a hardtail with semi-slicks... or a cyclocrosser.



I just spoke to a group that had just ridden up... according to them, it gets a hell of a lot worse.

Beyond the actual widening of the track to M4 proportions... they've bulldozed into the trees up to 5 metres in places..

Waterbars are gone. Track is smooth and soggy in many places until it packs down...


FWIW this trail never was much of a technical challenge aside from two short sections. If they've left St Helena untouched it probably means one can get more speed thrills on the main trail then duck down St Helena for some technical fun before returning and speeding on down.

Of course this means that speeds on most of the trail will be much higher. I wonder if anyone considered that factor or they thought things would be safer this way?

It also drivers me crazy when the authorities bulldoze like this but won't let us build sustainable single track beside a firetrail that would have significantly less impact on the land. Go figure! Sad

[ ponders riding a crosser in the W2G Eye-wink ]

kiwiboy's picture

Any idea if Andersons has suffered the same fate?

They did the same at RNP last year - sucked badly. Took several months for it to pack down - was like riding on sticky sponge and hard work until it did.

However, we need to remember they are firetrails/firebreaks - so they need to be wide enough for that purpose and of course navigable by fire trucks.

Little-Ditty's picture

I have no problem with this. The trail is not there for MTB riders, but for RFS vehicles to use for quick access for fire breaks and fire fighting. If any one has live in that area (which I have for 15 years) you will know the problems that bush fires cause in that part of the world.

As long as the last 1/3 of the trail remains (single track) then I don't think it makes much difference. At high speed, some of that first 1/3 of the Oaks was dangerous, particularly for noobs.

That was my 2c.

Justin's picture

The single trail section at the end of the Oaks trail is 'legal' to my understanding. Special permission was sought from government, and received.

evan's picture

For what its worth, some of the fire trail was in pretty bad shape and could have done with some work.

shano's picture

Was the first trail I learnt to ride-on in Sydney and it was really a treat back in the day...
It was a non-technical firetrail, with a tight singletrack to finish...nothing a hardtail could not handle.

It has gotten pretty bad over the last 8-9 years with usage increasing ...there were some really dangerous lines with rutted rocks and the like...I have to agree with comments that it needed work...its been in need of a makeover for years..

The single track is definitely in need of maintenance..and narrowing of the trail...too many people taking lines around obstacles and continual broadening has damaged the trail. Remember it used to be a its as wide as firetrail at the bottom in some places and much less aesthetically pleasing.

Given time the loose stuff should pack down nicely ...with our traffic that won't take long!

Shano Smiling

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